The iconic Australian surf and lifestyle brand Billabong was started in humble beginnings by Gordon Merchant. The name Billabong is derived from the Wiradjuri word bilabaŋ, which translates to ‘creek that runs only during the rainy season,’ and captures Gordon’s early days where he was found chasing the waves. Here we discover Gordon’s desire for durable garments and his love for boardsports that led his company to success.
the late ’60s and early ’70s, when he would often pack up a Kombi van full of surfboards, maps, sleeping bags, and tents. Gordon traveled along the coast in search of a new surfing utopia. Arriving along a 20-mile stretch of ‘golden beach,’ Gordon made the Gold Coast his home – a place that would allow him to wear boardshorts up to nine months of the year!